WWF Wrestlefest 1993
Written by Scrooge McSuck from Da Wrestling Site
– Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan are our hosts, and they are apparently on their way to Coliseum Video Headquarters, before engine trouble delays their trip. We get the obvious gags of Heenan trying to play mechanic throughout the video tape, with the end result for their troubles being a small rodent (Squirrel?) being in their engine. Lame payoff to the comedy bits, but they had their moments. Anyway, judging from the footage, almost everything is from the Fall-Winter of 1992.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Money Inc. © (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Nasty Boys:
(Ted Dibiase & I.R.S. vs. Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs)
Taped on December 15th, 1992, from Madison, WI. This program never really went anywhere, and with the arrival of the Steiners and the return of Hogan and Beefcake for WrestleMania IX, their services were no longer required. Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes are calling the action. The Nasties quickly clear Money Inc. from the ring. Saggs tosses Dibiase back in, and goes to work on the arm. Whip to the corner, and Saggs misses a charge. Dibiase works the arm, using the ropes to his advantage. Whip to the ropes, Dibiase with a hip toss, but he misses an elbow drop. Knobbs tags in and pounds away, before settling into working the arm. Saggs tags back in and continues the punishment. Knobbs with a single-arm DDT, but the Pit-Stop is interrupted by I.R.S. Whip to the ropes, and Dibiase with a knee to the midsection. I.R.S. tags in, and quickly misses an elbow drop. Knobbs slaps on a wristlock, and drops a leg across the arm. I.R.S. takes Knobbs down with a drop toe hold, but can’t hold onto a headlock, allowing Knobbs to go back to the arm. Saggs and I.R.S. fight over a wristlock until Saggs uses a yank of the hair. Dibiase tags in, and doesn’t fair much better. Whip to the ropes, and I.R.S. with a knee to Saggs, allowing Dibiase to knock him through the ropes.
Back inside, Dibiase works over Saggs with axehandles, then rams him into the buckle. Whip across the ring, and Saggs does his best (poor) imitation of Bret Hart for the impact. Dibiase slaps on a bearhug, which seems odd for him to use. Saggs fights free, but I.R.S. tags in and drops an elbow across the back. Now it’s Irwin’s turn to slap on a bearhug. What, no abdominal stretch? Dibiase tags back in, and it’s a Wishbone for Nasty Boy Saggs. Whip to the ropes, and Saggs comes back with a double clothesline for Dibiase and I.R.S. Knobbs gets the hot tag, and unloads on Dibiase with a series of rights. Whip to the ropes, and Knobbs with a back drop. Irwin walks into an arm drag, and Knobbs continues to pound away on everything walking. Saggs with an atomic drop on I.R.S., and Knobbs sends Dibiase to the floor with a clothesline. Money Inc. tries to talk a walk, but referee Earl Hebner declares that if they don’t return to the ring, the Nasty Boys will be awarded the belts. Bullshit. They return under the threat, and continue to take a beating. Saggs blows a spot, and Dibiase slaps on the Million Dollar Dream, but Knobbs breaks the hold before the arm can drop a third time. Bullshit. Whip to the ropes, and Saggs slams Dibiase face-first into the canvas. Knobbs with a second hot tag, and he beats the piss out of both Dibiase and I.R.S. Whip to the ropes, and a double back elbow to I.R.S. Whip to the corner, and Knobbs follows in with a splash. Saggs heads to the top rope, and connects with his sloppy elbow drop for a two count. Dibiase comes back in, but gets clotheslined to the floor by Knobbs. More chaos brings Jimmy Hart into the action, and Dibiase KO’s Saggs with one of the belts, allowing I.R.S. to cover and retain at 13:22. I don’t know, this might be the best Nasty Boys match I have ever seen, at least in the WWF. It’s not an outstanding “must see”, but it’s a very solid effort from everyone involved.
Kona Crush vs. Papa Shango:
Taped on October 12th, 1992, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (yes, the same taping as the Bret/Flair Title Change), but also from the October 26th, 1992 episode of Prime Time Wrestling. 5 years later, this is a member of D.O.A. vs. a member of the Nation of Domination. Funny how much can change in such a short time. Shango attacks before the bell with clubberin’ blows. He sends Crush to the buckle, and connects with a headbutt. Shango continues the pounding, then follows Crush into the corner with an avalanche. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Crush catches Shango with a back breaker. Crush with a crescent kick, knocking Shango to the floor. Test of strength time, but Shango cheats to take control (what a surprise). Crush makes the comeback by cheating, and brings Shango out of the corner with a monkey flip. Crush with a clothesline, but he misses a shoulder tackle. Shango knocks Crush down with a chop to the throat, then stomps away. Irish whip, and Shango with a clothesline. Shango goes low with a headbutt, and plants Crush with a slam. Crush rolls away from a leg drop and pounds away. Crush with a slam and leg drop, followed by a clothesline for two. Crush with an enziguri, sending Shango to the floor. Back inside, and Crush clotheslines Shango back out. Shango grabs his magic stick, shoots the sparks in Crush’s face, and it’s a DQ victory for Crush at 6:46. That sucked. Seems like EVERY Shango match ended that way.
Big Boss Man vs. “The Model” Rick Martel:
Taped on September 1st, 1992, from Hershey, PA, and previously used on the September 21st episode of Prime Time Wrestling. At the time of taping, The Model was paired with Tatanka, and Boss Man with the ex-convict Nailz. Lockup, and Boss Man easily over-powers the Model. Martel complains about a phantom hair-pull, so in a cute spot, Boss Man actually does it the next time around. Martel with knees to the midsection, followed by a flurry of rights. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Boss Man sends Martel out of the ring via a hip toss. Boss Man follows him out to continue the punishment, then brings it back into the ring. Boss Man uses a wristlock to control, and this match is already dragging. Whip to the corner, and Boss Man misses a charge. Martel with the midsection with a series of knee drops. Martel heads to the top rope, but surprise, surprise, he gets crotched. Boss Man with a back elbow, and he introduces Martel to the turnbuckle. Martel grabs his spray-can of Arrogance, and Boss Man grabs his nightstick, so we get the lamest Double Disqualification possible at 6:10. They re-did the same spot for a Shango/Repo Man match on Prime Time a few weeks later, except with the tow rope/magic stick combination. Terrible match. Heel Martel was mostly junk, and Boss Man seemed to get worse in the ring as time went by.
Earthquake vs. Repo Man:
This will certainly turn the tide in work rate. Taped from the Nutter Center in Dayton, OH, on November 24th, 1992. This match was actually recycled on the Smack’em Whack’em Coliseum Video. We thought the WWE video department was only lazy in recent years… recycling a EARTHQUAKE/REPO MAN MATCH?! Lockup, and Quake easily shoves Repo down. Repo Man tries for a waistlock, but that doesn’t work well for him. Earthquake with a series of shoulders to the midsection, followed by an avalanche in the corner. Whip to the ropes, and Repo comes back with a series of rights. Repo Man to the second rope, and he takes Quake down with a clothesline. Repo Man with a leg drop for two, then settles into a chinlock. Earthquake easily fights his way out of it, but misses an elbow drop. Repo to the top rope, and a cross body/slam spot gets blown, so Earthquake casually slams him from a normal position, and finishes him off with the Vertical Splash (butt drop) at 4:23. Please, give me something good soon. I don’t want The Nasty Boys having match of the tape honors.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Shawn Michaels © vs. Virgil:
Taped on October 28th, 1992, from Louisville, KY. Guess what… another match that was not only used on Prime Time, but recycled for another Coliseum Video: Bashed In The USA. Michaels is without Sherri, who was hospitalized (kayfabe) at the hands of a returning Marty Jannetty. Lockup, and Michaels with a standing side headlock, followed by a hip toss. Michaels with a drop toe hold, and he dicks around with Virgil. They fight over a hammerlock, until Virgil connects with an inverted atomic drop and a dropkick for two. Michaels counters a charge to the corner, and pounds away. Whip across the ring, and Virgil comes back with a cross body press for a two count. Criss-cross, and Virgil gets sent to the floor following a crescent kick. Michaels stomps away, and rams him into the corner. Michaels with a dropkick and snapmare before settling into a chinlock. Virgil manages to escape, and takes Michaels over with a back slide for two. Michaels quickly puts Virgil down with a clothesline, then brings him over with a suplex. Whip to the ropes, and Virgil uses a handful of hair to slam Michaels down to the canvas. Virgil connects with a boot to the face, and follows with a clothesline. Virgil with his signature jabs for another near fall. Virgil comes off the second rope with a clothesline for yet another two count. Whip to the corner, and Virgil misses a charge. Michaels with the tear drop suplex, and that’s enough to get the three count at 7:07. Watchable match, but that’s honestly the most you can hope for out of a match featuring Virgil.
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. The Berzerker (w/ Mr. Fuji):
This is going to suck. Taped on June 1st, 1992, from the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. You might recall the Berzerker trying to kill the Undertaker on an episode of Superstars to set up their program that ended up being killed off in favor of a Kamala program, instead. Berzerker with the sneak attack, but Undertaker no-sells and choke away in the corner. Whip across the ring, and Berzerker with a boot to the face, followed by a dropkick, sending Undertaker to the floor. ‘Taker drags him out through the ropes, and rams the Berzerker into the steps. Back inside, Undertaker misses a diving clothesline, allowing Berzerker to knock him back to the floor with a shoulder tackle. He follows, and bashes ‘Taker with a chair. I guess the referee is too distracted to hear the shot across the back. Back inside, Undertaker avoids a big boot, and plants Berzerker with a chokeslam. Undertaker misses another clothesline, allowing Berzerker to regain control with choking. The action spills to the floor, with Berzerker slamming Undertaker in the aisle. Back inside, Berzerker with a bulldog, and it’s the Andre Special™. Undertaker manages to free himself, and back drops Berzerker to the floor. Back inside, Berzerker with a piledriver, but Undertaker sits up. They do it again, same result. Third time, Undertaker stays down… for a few seconds. Undertaker comes off the ropes, hitting the flying clothesline (finally), and finishes Berzerker off with the Tombstone at 7:57. Afterwards, Mr. Fuji takes a Tombstone for his efforts. Match was surprisingly watchable, but far from what I would consider good. Having no expectations is a good thing, sometimes.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Irwin R. Schyster:
Taped on July 9th, 1991, from the… wait, WHAT?! 1991?! Talk about digging deep for filler. Anyway, taped from the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Alberta. So they not only went way back for filler, but a DUGGAN match in CANADA. Wow… Rotundo is magically rocking a mullet since the first match on the tape. I.R.S. plays to the crowd to very little reaction (it’s a marathon TV taping. Good luck). Duggan toys around with I.R.S. by assaulting the briefcase. I.R.S. plays the cowardly heel very effectively, but it also leads to a boring match. Lockup, and Duggan slaps on a side headlock. Whip to the ropes, and he comes back with a shoulder tackle. Lockup, headlock, and another shoulder tackle. I.R.S. surprises Duggan with a knee to the midsection, followed by rights. Whip to the ropes is reversed, allowing Duggan to connect with a clothesline, and follow up with a slam. Duggan sets up for the clothesline of doom, but I.R.S. rolls out of the ring. More stalling. I.R.S. comes back in and pounds away on Duggan, then chokes him across the ropes. I.R.S. with a reverse chinlock, and yes, he DOES use the ropes for exta leverage. Duggan fights free, rams I.R.S. into the buckle ten times, and pounds on him with his usual roundhouse rights. Duggan uses the tie to punish I.R.S. some more. He sets up for the three-point stance, but Irwin rolls to the floor again. They do a mild brawl on the floor, until being counted out at 8:01. Wow, that was not only lame, but incredibly dull. Most of this was stalling and resting, so why bother using this instead of something more current to the release date?
High Energy & “El Matador” Tito Santana vs. The Nasty Boys & Repo Man (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Taped on July 21st, 1992, from Portland, ME (the same taping as the Bret/Shawn Ladder Match). I don’t get the decision here… the Nasty Boys were just featured on the tape as babyfaces, but now they’re heels again with Jimmy Hart. Whatever. Owen mocking the Nasty Boys is a pretty funny visual. Knobbs attacks Koko from behind, and pounds away in the corner. Knobbs misses a charge, and Repo Man walks into a drop toe hold. Santana tags in, and works the arm. Repo attempts a sunset flip, but Santana blocks and goes back to the wristlock. Owen comes off the top with a double axehandle, and goes to work the arm as well. Repo escapes with a rake of the eyes and tags out to Saggs. He quickly gets taken to the ground and worked over. Criss-cross, and Owen goes spilling over the top rope. Knobbs works him over from the floor, then tosses him back to Saggs, who connects with a side suplex for two. Repo tags in, pounds away across the back of Owen, and chokes him across the top rope. Saggs with a snapmare, followed by a leg drop. Knobbs with an elbow drop for two. Whip to the ropes, and Knobbs with a back body drop. Owen blocks the Pit Stop, and rubs Knobbs into Saggs’ pit in a cute spot. Owen hammers on Repo Man, but a drop toe hold kills his momentum. Saggs sends Owen to the corner, but misses a clothesline. Knobbs prevents the tag with an elbow drop, and brings him back to the corner for more punishment. Repo Man tags in, and quickly misses a charge to the corner. Santana gets the hot tag, and hammers away on Saggs. Santana with a slam, followed by a dropkick. Everyone else comes in as thing start to get out of hand. Santana with the Flying Jalapeno, but the referee isn’t paying attention to count. Knobbs grabs Repo Man’s tow-rope, but Santana counters the attack with a back drop, and suddenly the bell rings at 7:35, giving the match to Santana and Owen… and Koko, I guess. Not like he did much. Another solid tag team match… yes, that makes TWO Nasty Boys matches that didn’t suck on the same tape.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “Terrific” Terry Taylor:
Taped on November 23rd, 1992, from Erie, PA, and later broadcasted on the December 14th, 1992 episode of Prime Time Wrestling. Taylor is trying to make a name for himself without being a Rooster, but face it, that gimmick is haunting him for life. Lockup, and Savage with an arm drag takeover. Repeat, and he slaps on an armbar. Taylor escapes momentarily with aheadlock, but Savage goes Ricky Steamboat on him with a deep arm drag, then goes back to the armbar. Whip to the ropes and Taylor goes for an abdominal stretch, but Savage blocks and goes back to working the arm. They fight over the arm until Savage bitch slaps him. Taylor with a cheap shot in the corner, so Savage returns the favor and grabs a headlock. Whip to the ropes, and Savage sends Taylor to the floor with a clothesline. Savage to the top, and his double axehandle is countered with a fist to the midsection. Taylor with a scoop slam on the floor, then back in the ring with a jaw breaker and a series of knees across the chest of Savage. Taylor with a backbreaker for a two count. An atomic drop gets two, as well. Whip to the ropes, and Taylor with a dropkick for two. Savage gets a surprise roll up for two, and a sunset flip for two two. Taylor regains control, and salps on a sleeper hold. Whip to the ropes, and Taylor misses a dropkick. Savage with a small package for two count. Whip to the ropes, and Savage with a back slide for two. Taylor with a quick clothesline for two. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Taylor greets a charging Savage with an elbow to the side of the head. Taylor with a slam, and he misses a second-rope Vader-Bomb. Savage with the Hart Attack clothesline, then sends Taylor to the buckle. Savage hangs Taylor across the top rope, then comes off the top himself with a double axehandle for two. Savage with an atomic drop and back suplex for two. Whip to the corner is reversed, and this time it’s Savage with a boot to the charging Taylor. Savage with a slam, and the top rope elbow finishes it off at 9:46. Another solid effort, considering it was a Prime Time exclusive. Taylor’s WWF run was mostly as a JTTS, so it was nice to see him get a little bit of length against Savage.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Bret “Hitman” Hart © vs. Kamala (w/ KimChee & Harvey Wippleman):
Another poor excuse of match selections, since we already saw Shawn Michaels with the IC Belt. Taped on August 10th, 1992, from Huntsville, AL, and this is definitely going to suck. I am convinced that Kamala is incapable of ever having a good match, no matter who is in the ring with him. Kamala stalls a while, dancing around the ring. Lockup, Bret goes for a go-behind waistlock, but Kamala squashes him back into the corner. Whip across the ring, and Kamala misses a charge. Hart goes to work with a wristlock, and pounds away across the shoulder. Kamala continues to miss whatever the hell he’s trying, allowing Hart to further work the arm. Kamala with a scoop slam, but he misses some chops. Hart comes off the ropes with a dropkick, and goes back to working a wristlock. Kamala uses his strength advantage to take control, and slaps on a bearhug that never seems to end. Kamala changes it up by slapping on the Vulcan neck pinch to the delight of zero wrestling fans. Bret eventually makes the comeback and connects with the Russian leg sweep and second rope elbow. He goes for the Sharpshooter, but KimChee interferes, and it’s another lame finish, by Disqualification, at 10:05. The heels try to triple team the Hitman, but he fights them off and claims KimChee’s hat as his reward for this pile of crap. One of the worst Bret matches I have ever seen. Kamala sucked that much.
“El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Razor Ramon:
How many matches are on this tape?! Taped on October 13th, 1992, from Regina, Saskatchewan, and I could’ve sworn this was recycled for Prime Time Wrestling, but I might be mistaken. Santana hammers away on Ramon to start, and quickly connects with the Flying Jalapeno, but the impact sends Ramon to the floor. Sucks for Santana. Back in the ring, they fight over a wristlock until Santana takes Ramon down. He changes it up from a wristlock to an armbar. Whip to the ropes, Santana connects with a dropkick, then back to the arm bar. Ramon fights his way out with a slam, but misses a pair of elbow drops, allowing Santana to go back to working the arm. Ramon fights free again, and drops Santana throat-first across the top rope. Ramon works the back and slaps on an abdominal stretch. Santana briefly reverses, until Ramon escapes with a hip toss. Whip to the ropes, and Ramon slaps on a bearhug. Ugh… Santana rolls through with a sunset flip for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Ramon manages to block a monkey flip. Ramon pounces on the groggy Matador, and finishes him off with the Razor’s Edge at 4:45. Yet another short match with very little time to allow it to go anywhere. Well, we’re almost done, at least.
Loser Leaves the WWF: Mr. Perfect vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair:
The Finale, and pulled from the January 25th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw (but taped on January 18th), with Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan, and a very non-existant Rob Bartlett calling the match. Invasion of the Bodyslammers advertised Perfect/Flair, but it ended up being a random dark match, rather than this, but was still promoted as the loser leaves WWF match. In a useless tidbit, this was the first episode of Monday Night Raw I got to watch, and damn was it awesome. Feeling out process to start. They lockup into the corner, Flair shoves Perfect, and Perfect responds with a slap. Lockup, and Flair slaps on a side headlock. Whip to the ropes, and he puts Perfect on the ground with a shoulder block. Criss-cross sequence ends with a Perfect drop toe hold, and he bitch slaps Flair across the back of the head, forcing him to the floor for a quick breather. Heenan abandons the broadcast position to have a word with Flair, and takes the ring bell hammer for whatever reason. Back inside, Flair with another headlock, then quickly turns it into a hammerlock. Perfect reversed, but Flair escapes with another drop toe hold, and slaps on a front facelock. They take it to the corner, exchanging chops. Flair grabs another headlock, and takes him over with it. Perfect counters with a head scissors, and they return to a neutral position. Perfect pulls down the strap, so you know he means business now. Lockup, and Flair with a knee to the midsection, followed by chops. Perfect responds with his own, and puts Flair down with a series of jobs. Flair pokes the eyes and tosses Perfect over the top rope. Flair grabs a chair, but the referee prevents him from using it.
We return from a Commercial Break, as Flair sends Perfect to the corner, who takes a nasty bump over the top rope, and manages to bust himself open hardway on the fall. Back inside, Flair hammers way on him in the corner, and whips him across the ring, complete with over-sell. Flair with a modified chicken wing for a series of two count. Flair argues with the referee, but at the same time chokes Perfect with his shin. They exchange blows, and Perfect rolls Flair up out of nowhere for two. Whip to the ropes, and Perfect with a back slide for another two count. Another whip to the corner, and Perfect takes Flair over with a ba-a-a-ck body drop (tm Vince McMahon). Flair begs Perfect off, but it’s no use, as Perfect drags him to the center of the ring and pounds away. Flair counters mounted punches with an inverted atomic drop, and rolls Perfect up for two. Flair takes a breather on the floor, but Perfect brings him back in with a suplex from the apron for two. Flair with a boot to the midsection, and he applies a sleeper hold. Perfect fights back to his feet, and lunges to the corner, ramming Flair into the turnbuckle. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Perfect with a violently thrown clothesline for two, then slaps on his own sleeper hold. Flair fights out with a back suplex, and now both men are down. Flair is up first, and slaps on the Figure-Four, and yes, he does use the ropes for leverage. Flair continues to work the leg, but unwisely goes to the top rope, and gets slammed off to the surprise of no one.
We return from another commercial break, and Perfect has Flair in another compromising position. Flair pulls out a pair of “brass knuckles” and lays Perfect out with them, without the referee noticing. Flair takes his sweet time to cover, and drops an elbow, getting only two as Perfect manages to get his foot on the bottom rope. Flair pounds away on the open wound of Perfect, to the delight of Heenan. Perfect starts no-selling Flair’s chops, which means babyface comeback. Flair begs him off, but Perfect hobbles him back to the corner, and chops away at him like a tree. Whip to the corner, and Perfect takes him over with a back drop. Whip across the ring, and Flair flips over to the apron, runs up the ropes, and connects with a clothesline for a heart-stopping two count. Flair with a double leg sweep and cover for another two count, despite his feet being on the ropes. Perfect manages to counter for another near fall. Whip to the ropes, and Perfect catches Flair with his head down for the Perfect-Plex, and that finally gets the three count at 17:32 (clipped from commercial breaks). As a youngster with no knowledge of Flair leaving, this was an incredible match with a lot of drama. It was very uncommon for a T.V. match to go nearly half-an-hour (which it did, including introductions and commercial breaks), and really delivered. Too bad they couldn’t convince Flair to stay through WrestleMania IX. Imagine them doing Loser Leaves WWF there, with the stipulation staying true with Flair’s leaving for WCW… oh well, still a great match.
Final Thoughts: The Loser Leaves WWF Match is a must-see for all fans, and there’s solid matches between the Nasty Boys/Money Inc. and Randy Savage/Terry Taylor. With the exception of Bret Hart/Kamala and Duggan/I.R.S., everything else is watchable, either due to decent quality wrestling (Shawn/Virgil, 6-Man Tag), or short enough that it’s not going to be much of a factor in my recommendation (Crush/Shango, Martel/Boss Man). Give this one a look, but these days. I’m sure Perfect/Flair is available on several DVD sets, and hey, there’s always YouTube, right?